Food for Thought Blog

The Food Bank Awarded for Innovative Approach to Hunger

June 11th, 2019Awareness

We are excited and pleased to share The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has been selected as the 2019 Innovator Award recipient by Feed Ontario.

The award, which was announced at Feed Ontario’s annual conference in Toronto earlier this week, is given to a food bank that shows strong innovation in hunger-relief programming, service or sustainability.

We received this award in recognition of the Fresh Approaches Program, specifically the Fresh Approaches Food Centre.

We work collaboratively with community programs and agency partners, push boundaries and continuously evolve our approach and programming to provide healthy, nutritious food to the growing number of people accessing hunger relief support. This includes the expansion of the Fresh Approaches program with an on-site food processing facility, the Fresh Approaches Food Centre.

Located in our warehouse, the Fresh Approaches Food Centre offers nearly 600 square feet of working space, improves fresh food distribution, reduces waste and increases the variety, quality and quantity of perishable food distributed to our community programs and agency partners.

In the first six months, staff and volunteers in the Fresh Approaches Food Centre have sorted, repackaged and processed 40,956 pounds of food – providing 31,997 additional meals – to those in our community accessing hunger relief support. We have also seen a 34% increase in fresh food being distributed to community partners, with a 40% reduction in food waste.

The Fresh Approaches program and food centre has improved lives in several ways as it builds a healthier population, increases social cohesion and improves social determinants of health. Health is being improved and economic, social and cultural barriers are being addressed leading to better access to nutritious food (a basic need and human right) for those we serve.

Thank you to Feed Ontario for recognizing and celebrating the Fresh Approaches Food Centre. We are looking forward to its growth and positive impact in Waterloo Region and beyond.